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Old 10-08-2012, 04:47 PM   #1
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How to remove AC filters?


My air conditioner uses the 20x20x1 filter. I normally get the 3M Filtrete filters that comes in a 3 pack and change it once a month.

I slide the filter into the slot about 3/4 way, then there is a metal channel with a couple of "FINS" that hooks onto the filter, I will then push the filter and the metal channel in all the way, then the skinny front cover goes on secured with two thumb screws.

Well that's fine but for some reason to remove it the reverse process does not work.

The filter will not come out even when I pulled and tucked gently. It always seem to get caught and stuck somewhere. If you look from below the filter it seems nothing is in the way, yet they will not come out. So I normally end up deforming the filter from below and pull the whole thing down (which end up causing some of the accumulated dust from coming off).

Is there a trick I am not aware of? Why wouldn't the filter slide out as easily as it slid in? I know the filter do get deformed a bit after use but still...

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Old 10-08-2012, 05:26 PM   #2
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How to remove AC filters?


Sounds like my old Trane AC I had. Easy going in and a pain to get out. You just have to yank the dam thing hard, mostly it rips and comes out in 2. The last year I had it ( before a house fire) the filters were a pain to put in as well, and needed a big push- only guess is the filter companies do not make the filters to 100% specs on sizing.

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Old 10-08-2012, 09:59 PM   #3
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How to remove AC filters?


Moved to HVAC forum.
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Old 10-09-2012, 10:12 AM   #4
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How to remove AC filters?


I am concerned about one of the comments you made. You said, the filter gets deformed anyway. So if I understand, you put in the new filter without much trouble, but when you come back, before you try to take the filter out, you find it deformed??? I am guessing that you are seeing the center of the filter pulled into the suction of the blower. If I am correct, this is very bad. It sounds like the filter is so restrictive that the blower is strugling to get air. Filters should never deform, unless the are choked with dust. My guess is that your 3m is restrictive clean and once dirty, is even more restrictive. I would suggest investigating 4 to 5 inch media filters. these filters are less restrictive to begin with, trap more dust etc and last longer.

You may have to have some minor filter rack changes made, but in the end, your system will work better and last longer.

just my two cents.
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Old 10-09-2012, 12:08 PM   #5
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How to remove AC filters?


What 3M filter are you using? Like he said, the higher the FPR # the harder the ac unit will work trying to suck air. If you are using the 3M FPR 10- 1900 micro particles the filter has less air flow. I use the 3M FPR 7 which has 1,000 which is still restrictive but traps dust, pollen, mites etc. You may want to go down to a 5 FPR and see if is still sucked up like you described.

As I mentioned before though, mine was never sucked up in the middle and it was the carboard frame of the filter that was just a little too wide and was hard to pull out. If this is the case, maybe try a washable filter that has a metal or plastic frame that should hold its size better and not get snagged up.
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Old 10-09-2012, 06:38 PM   #6
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How to remove AC filters?


washable filters as they come from the factory can not really be cleaned 100 percent. I dont suggest them. If you modify them (remove the pop rivet and replace it with a screw) to be able to open up the frame and clean each part indivually, they work ok... but they are also fairly restrictive clean too....

again,,, just my two cents and experiance with one of these filters.
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Old 10-09-2012, 08:06 PM   #7
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How to remove AC filters?


Def see that before, goes in perfect and once the blower has its way with it its doesnt come out very well(deformed) because the blower is literally sucking it in. I would recommend using a less restrictive filter and if possible putting a return grill in the wall and also verify the return is the correct size for the system.

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